Emiliana snapped back, and the words just poured out her. “Alicia! I’m here! I’m in a lot of trouble! These men came to my school to abduct me, and I don’t know what’s happening, and Cisco stayed behind to fight them! And I--I don’t--”
<“Whoa, whoa, slow down,”> Alicia said. <“Men came to your school?”>
“Yes! I tried to call my parents, but neither of them are answering, so I called you! Please help me! I’m really scared!”
<“O-oh! Okay, hold on a second! I’m at school, right now, but just--stay on the line.”> There came a brief rustling noise. <“Hey! Let me borrow your phone! Yes, I need two phones! This is important! Shut up, and just--! No, just give it here!”> A feminine screech broke out, followed by a beat of silence. Then, a bit haggard, Alicia said, <“You still there?”>
Emiliana had slowed down a little. “Er--”
‘Don’t stop running,’ said Chergoa. ‘I still sense the three reapers from the school following us.’
She picked up her pace again, continually marveled by how she hadn’t grown winded or tired at all. “Yes, I’m here!” she said to Alicia.
<“Good! I’m calling my grandma now! She’ll help you for sure!”>
<“Yeah! Don’t even worry about it! Oh, and can you tell me where you are?”>
Chergoa was floating near enough to overhear the question. ‘Tell her you’re heading north toward the Great Madega.’
Emiliana relayed the information.
<“Okay, got it. Ah, hold on a second.”> Then, slightly muffled again, <“Fuck off! I’ll give your phone back in a minute! Go ahead! I don’t care who you tell! Stay back! I swear, I will bite y--Oh! Grandma! Yeah, it’s Alicia! Listen, I just got a call from Emy Elroy, and--”>
As she listened to the girl’s secondhand explanation, Emiliana threw repeated glances at Chergoa.
‘How well do you know this Alicia girl, exactly?’ the reaper asked.
‘Uh. Not that well. She’s a little younger than me, and I thought she was a nice girl, but she sounds kind of--er, “louder” than I remember...’
‘Not that I’m complaining...’